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Category Archives: Costume College 2016

1770s Robe à l’Anglaise Retroussée Using Ikea’s Ljusöga Fabric

At Costume College I wore my finished robe à l’Anglaise retroussée, previously debuted in an unfinished form at the Pirate Festival.  I don’t have all my formal portraits yet, but Andrew Schmidt, the official CoCo photographer, put up this picture as one of the preview shots.

18th century elegance by Andy Schmidt

Photo by Andrew Schmidt

The dress is made from one king-sized Ikea duvet cover! And I still have plenty of fabric left over for another project, such as a jacket. The bodice is lined with linen and I used the Period Impressions 1770 Polonaise and Petticoat pattern. (I highly recommend this pattern. It was simple to follow, relatively quick to put together, and I had to make very little adjustment to the fit).IMG_8771

(I am wearing red Kensingtons with paste buckles and clocked silk stockings, all from American Duchess). The back of the dress can be worn down as a regular Anglaise, or retroussée by looping the two twisted rayon cords around the fabric-covered buttons.IMG_8772


I would like to get a bigger hat (this one goes with a different outfit) but ran out of time. I also attempted hair buckles, but that was a disaster, so I  just put my hair up in a high bump over a rat, then put flowers in the back.IMG_8774IMG_8776


The sleeves also have a little loop of rayon cord and a slightly smaller fabric-covered button.IMG_8982

Unlike the previous time I wore this dress, this time I am wearing the correct stays. Here’s a silly selfie in the hotel bathroom while still in PJs and messy hair. Now you know what I look like in the mornings! (Well, except for the stays).IMG_8731

Project costs:

  • Ikea king-sized duvet cover: ~$30
  • Linen lining: $0, leftover from another project
  • Period Impressions pattern: $13.95 + $4.85 shipping from Etsy
  • Buttons: from stash
  • Rayon cord: ~$5 from Britex

Total: ~$53.80

Way under budget! I got to splurge a little on the accessories. 😉 Onsite I happened to hear about Dames a la Mode’s trunk sale, and bought this lovely set that I wore with my dress.IMG_8973


Costume College: Saturday and Sunday

On Saturday at Costume College I dressed up in my 1770s robe à l’Anglaise retroussée and got together with some other ladies wearing the same “LJUSÖGA” Ikea print. We previously wore the dresses at the Pirate Festival, but my dress was not fully finished at the time. (Close-ups and construction details will be in my next post).IMG_8767

Saturday at Costume College started with the wonderfully informative class “Dark Secrets from the Care and Storage of Museum Objects,” taught by Carolyn Jamerson, a Collections Manager and Mount Maker at FIDM. I learned a lot of about the storage of clothing in museums, and some tips I can use at home. Carolyn also went over what not to do, and had many anecdotes about items donated to the museum in various stages of disrepair.

Later I ran into these dapper military gentlemen:IMG_8753

Rebecca had this fetching plaid ensemble.IMG_8764

Maggie had this great Mad Max outfit that she roughed up to look dirty, but wasn’t. I almost didn’t recognize her out of regency attire!IMG_8780

This Marie Antoinette dress was so charming!IMG_8782

This “Mountain Man” gave me an informative impromptu lecture about the life of a mountain man and the significance of all the little items hanging on his neck.IMG_8762

After lunch I took two more classes before getting ready for the gala. “A Fortnight in 1916” was a great lecture by Leimomi Oakes about life on the homefront during WWII in New Zealand. She lived for 2 weeks like a lady in 1916, even cooking recipes from newspapers of the time. I also took “Fancy Footwear: Vintage Shoes 1920s to 1940s” from Lauren Stowell of American Duchess, and after class I got to try on some of the samples from her new line at Royal Vintage Shoes.

For the evening red carpet, dinner, and gala I dressed as Lady Tremaine. I made a lengthy post with many details that you can read here.IMG_8853

There were so many wonderful costumes at the gala I can’t post them all! I also ran into a lovely Cinderella cosplayer!IMG_8870

Lynne and Natalie (check out that train!) looked impeccable as always.IMG_8839

Molly’s Kaylee Firefly dress set many geek hearts aflutter.IMG_8836

The Dreamstress and the Lady Detalle! So regal!IMG_8844

These 18th century ladies (Lauren, Loren, and two other amazing people) were fabulous in silk.IMG_8848

Christina’s  1830s hair was a work of art.IMG_8863IMG_8866

And of course, Cynthia’s faithful recreation of the Worth Ironwork gown was the talk of the night!IMG_8895IMG_8898

On Sunday I decided to have a more casual outfit by wearing my vintage 1950s purple taffeta dress with my Lady Tremaine hat.IMG_8948

Natalie portrayed the artist Louise Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun.IMG_8932

Christina had this fabulous Bar Suit recreation.IMG_8937

I found Taylor, Jenny, Jen, and Ginger near the hotel lobby. Can you believe the cutwork on Jen’s sleeves were done by hand?IMG_8922

Gloria was also hanging out near the lobby, and wearing 18th century.IMG_8930

On Sunday I took three classes. “Achieving the Perfect Nineteenth Century Silhouette 1830 to 1894” by Luca Costigliolo, the guest teacher from Italy, was an incredible class that emphasized how common padding was to achieving the perfect silhouette, regardless to the lady’s figure. I wish I had had the chance to get into his limited classes! The next class I took was “Creating a Miss Fisher 1920s/30s Wardrobe” by Lauren Stowell, who asked me to come model my 1920s cocoon coat. Afterwards, I asked Lauren to try it on. IMG_8951

My last class of the day was “Wearing Your Food” by Janea Whitacre of Colonial Williamsburg, who discussed names of food being used to describe different colors of dye and it was an interesting lecture. This year I took 3 classes a day and I think that was an ideal amount. There was room in the schedule for more, but it gave me enough time to socialize and eat in between.

I had a wonderful Costume College, and am already planning for the next one!

The rest of my photos are on Flickr.

Costume College 2016: Thursday and Friday

As usual my roommate and I drove from the Bay Area to LA on Thursday. Normally we make a stop in between to visit FIDM before going to the hotel, but the costume exhibit was closed, so we went straight to the hotel. We arrived at 2 PM and found it made a world of difference! There was no line at all for check-in (compared to the huge one last year), and we didn’t have to wait for a porter. We were able to snag 2 luggage carts and within 15 minutes of arriving, we were checked in, the car parked, and all of our things unloaded in the room!

We were able unpack a bit and have a relaxing afternoon looking for friends arriving, until we got changed for the Thursday Night Pool Party. The theme was “Mod” and I wore a vintage 60’s dress.

By accident, Ginger, Vanessa, and I made a Powerpuff Girls team.IMG_8592

My dress had a cape so I guess I was sort of a superhero!IMG_8574

It was late when I started taking pictures, and most of my photos came out dark and of poor quality, so let’s skip straight to Friday.

Natalie and I wore our 1940s Star Trek costumes that we previously debuted at PEERS, and had a blast in them again. “Set phasers to sew!”IMG_8610We even met someone who said said she knew LeVar Burton (Geordi) and took a picture to show him!

There was this fantastic Star Wars group at CoCo, consisting of Loren, Jen, Katherine, Ginger, Twila, and Amy. They were all great, but I have a special fondness for Edwardian Kylo Ren.IMG_8629.JPG

During the day I took a few really great classes. Samantha Bullat of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation taught two classes: “Because few Taylors” (about the challenges of presenting an accurate living history experience within the confines of modern needs, laws, and budgets) and “Understanding the Oorijzer” (a metal frame Dutch women used to prop up their caps). Both were very informative and presented well. I also took a class called “Accessorizing Your Teens/Twenties Outfits” by Mela Hoyt-Heydon. Her lecture focused on how to get that Downton Abbey look, and Mela is a great speaker and her classes always fun.IMG_8596

After my classes I made a donation to the Scholarship Fund so I could go do some early bird shopping in the dealer’s hall. I spent most of my money at one booth (Acme Notions) which consistently has lovely and interesting things. This time I got many millinery flowers, some odds and ends, and pretty vintage deadstock lingerie.

The Friday Night Social was full of lots of great costumes, as usual. The theme was circus, but it is not mandatory and I wore my 1920s cocoon coat, a beaded 1920s reproduction dress from Unique Vintage, Miss L Fire Vista shoes, and a beaded headband.

Natalie wore a beautiful green bustle dress.IMG_8650

Judy and AJ made really cute Sleeping Beauty fairies.IMG_8666

Merja had a great fox-trimmed ensemble.IMG_8668

Kevin and Kathy rocked the Roman look. (It’s hard to tell from the photo, but Kathy put so many tiny tiny curls in her hair to achieve the historical frizzed look!)IMG_8670

Molly looked so cute in Renaissance.IMG_8662

Bridget, ?, and Lana looked lovely, just out of a painting.IMG_8688

Gretchen’s circus outfit was just smashing, and one of my favorites of the evening.IMG_8724

I took many more photos, so those were just the highlights. I can’t fit them all here so take a look at my Flickr account for more. I will be making another post with the Saturday and Sunday photos, which include the wonderful things people put on for Gala!